If there’s anything to take away from Koln during the cold and dreary seasons of pre and current winter time, it’s definitely the obsession with the Christmas Markets (aka Weihnachtsmarkte). There is a grand total of 11 different “main” markets spread across the city – ranging from the the tourist zone in front of the renowned Dom to our very own LGBT+ Christmas Avenue near Rudolfplatz.
I’m personally not a huge fan of all things Christmas, notably the overplayed Mariah Carey tunes and whatnot (call me a Grinch, I’ll take it). However, these markets are pretty impressive. They are built overnight on the 27th of November (saw it wit’ me own eyes!) and keep running till early January. They’re not so much ‘santa this’ or ‘elf that,’ but more so the more traditional delicacies of Christmas time. It’s safe to say I’ve had my fair share of Gluhwein (boiled red or white wine, to put it simply) and assorted roasted chestnuts as of now.
Unfortunately, due to exams, I was unable to see the winter wonderlands under the few days of snow we had beginning of December – I hear it was splendid – though these markets have become quite the practical rendez-vous point now that we (I) have more time to spare, “Yes, lets meet under the weird looking Christmas gnome next to the ice-skating rink.”
Weirdly enough, this is the only real taste I’ll have of the full-on Western Christmas spirit because I am off to Vietnam / the Philippines for the actual Christmas Day and New Year. It was a spontaneous decision, and I can’t say I regret trading in the -6°C for some beach time and 30°C sunshine. That said, I wish you all a very merry holiday and look forward to catching up in the new year!
Till then, yours truly,